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Bill would let cannabis biz get disaster aid (Newsletter: September 25, 2020)

Published 4 hours ago on September 25, 2020 By Tom Angell

New Congressional marijuana reports; CA cannabis-funded community grants; OR Dems back legal psilocybin & drug decrim; Cannabis sales spike amid COVID

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) filed companion bills to make marijuana businesses harmed by recent wildfires and other disasters eligible to receive federal relief funds on a retroactive basis. Two new reports from the Congressional Research Service analyze marijuana expungements and cannabis-related consequences for immigrants. The Democratic Party of Oregon endorsed two far-reaching drug policy reform measures on the state’s November ballot. One would legalize psilocybin therapy, and the other would decriminalize possession of all drugs and increase treatment funding. The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development announced it’s accepting applications for $30 million in grants—funded by marijuana tax revenue—to help communities targeted and harmed by the war on drugs. A report from the Oregon  Office of Economic Analysis shows how marijuana sales during the coronavirus pandemic are way higher than previous projections and says that “expectations are that some of these increases will be permanent.”

  • “Factors leading to increases in sales include higher incomes due to federal support, increased stressors in everyday life, reductions in other forms of entertainment or recreational opportunities, and simply more time on one’s hand be it due to a COVID-related layoff, or increased working from home.”

/ FEDERAL The death of Minnesota Legal Marijuana Now Party congressional candidate Adam Weeks means that a special election for the seat will have to be held in February and that no results from Election Day in November will be reported. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) again slammed Democrats for mentioning cannabis more times than jobs in their coronavirus relief bill. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) criticized House leadership’s decision to delay a vote on a bill to federally legalize marijuana. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) reported that roughly a tenth of constituent messages she received last week were about a marijuana legalization bill. Tennessee Democratic congressional candidate Christopher Hale tweeted, “Why is it that kids and veterans in Tennessee who smoke marijuana have criminal records, but those who committed billions of dollars of fraud on Wall Street and wrecked our economy do not?”

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